Learn to Say ‘NO’

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Insights

Just say NOBy Chu Hui Ying

If you wish to live a zero-waste lifestyle, you can begin simply by learning to say ‘NO’ and refusing items that do not necessarily bring any more practicality to your everyday life.

Here are some everyday items that you can start to eliminate in your life right now. Just say ‘NO’ to them!

1. Plastic Drinking Straws, Covers and Stirrers

There may be times when you need a drinking straw, for example, to poke through the plastic sheet to get to your bubble tea. However, if you have the chance to refuse straws in restaurants, coffee shops or hawker centres, remember to do so. Make it a habit to remind the servers not to put the plastic straw in your drink. Read more

2008 Waste Statistics and Current Waste Situation in Singapore (Part Four)

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Continued from Part Three, which looked at the recycling rate of the different waste, and the opportunities for food waste reduction.

This final part explores the opportunities for reducing the generation of Paper/Cardboard and Plastics waste. We will look at campaigns, companies, services, projects and tips that help to reduce paper and plastic waste.

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Opportunities for Paper Waste Reduction

We think that there is great potential to reduce our paper mail and junk mail, and also switch to duplex printing.

epost by Canada Post

Canada Post offers a free epost box. With epost, users can have bills and other mailers sent to them electronically and allows them to view and store them online.

Zumbox

Zumbox is a paperless postal system that provides a virtual mailbox for every street address in the United States, which allows users to receive, view, organize, store and send their mail online.

Red Dot Campaign

The Red Dot Campaign is a social marketing campaign in Canada to encourage advertisers to reduce waste and resources in paper-based advertising, and evaluate their current marketing strategies.

Stop Junk Mail

Stop Junk Mail is a non-profit UK-based group giving advice on how to reduce junk mail. They also provide ‘No junk mail’ stickers for households to paste on their door and letterbox to stop unaddressed leaflets and/or free newspapers.

Voluntary Admail Reduction Program

This Voluntary Admail Reduction Program is a by-law of the City of Ottawa to regulate the distribution of unaddressed advertising material. The by-law states that:

No distributor shall distribute or cause to be distributed any unaddressed advertising material on private property if the owner or occupant of the property has affixed a sign in a conspicuous way on his or her own property, as prescribed in accordance with Schedule “A” to this by-law indicating that he or she does not wish to receive any unaddressed advertising material.

The property owner or occupant can participate in the program by purchasing a sticker to indicate their desire not to receive unaddressed advertising material.

Duplex Printing

One of the easiest way to save paper in the office is to set the printer on default to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Here’s a guide to show you the steps for setting your printer to duplex printing.

Check out more tips on reducing paper.

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Opportunities for Plastics Waste Reduction

We think that there is great potential to reduce our use of plastic bottles, plastic bags and plastic packaging.

Tap

Tap is an ethical enterprise and campaign to get people to rethink bottled water and switch to water from the tap.

Tappening

Tappening is a campaign to educate the public about the unnecessary waste of resources and harm on the environment caused by the bottled water industry, and to encourage people to drink tap water and say no to bottled water.

Are You Ready?

This is the National Plastic Bag Campaign in Australia to help individuals and retailers move towards a phase-out or reduction in plastic bag use.

The Positive Package

The Positive Package is a campaign to share information on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging.

The Guide to Evolving Packaging Design

The online Guide to Evolving Packaging Design provides ideas, tips and tools to help retailers and manufacturers change the way packaging is produced and used.

The National Packaging Covenant

The National Packaging Covenant is a voluntary initiative by the government and industry in Australia to reduce the environmental effects of packaging.

Check out more tips to reduce plastics by avoiding disposable items and choosing products with less packaging.

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We encourage more individuals, communities, NGOs, businesses and the government to explore the mentioned opportunities to reduce the waste output of Food Waste, Paper/Cardboard and Plastics. There is potential for more awareness, campaigns, governmental and business services to reduce our waste. For a start, the new 3R Fund would be useful for providing financial support to implement these waste reduction opportunities.

Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

Eliminate the Excessive Use of Paper

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reduce

In Singapore, paper is one of the most common type of waste and about 1.26 million tonnes of paper waste was generated in 2013. We need to eliminate the excessive use of paper and try to reduce paper waste where possible.

Cutting down on our use of paper will lead to a smaller environmental impact from paper production, such as less energy and water consumption, less pollution, and less destruction of forests and their biodiversity.

There are many ways to reduce the use of paper in the office and at home. Here’s a few examples:

  1. Avoid Printing Emails and Web Pages
  2. Use Email Instead of Fax
  3. Print and Photocopy on Both Sides of the Paper
  4. Switch to Electronic Invoicing
  5. Reuse Old Envelopes for Internal Mail
  6. Go Paperless with Electronic Bills and Statements
  7. Avoid Printing ATM Receipts
  8. Reduce Junk Mail
  9. Submit Your Annual Income Tax Return Online
  10. Use Cloth for Cleaning Instead of Paper Towels
  11. Read Newspapers and Magazines Online

1. Avoid Printing Emails and Web Pages

Avoid printing emails and web pages unnecessarily. Instead, archive your emails and bookmark your web pages for easy reference. If you need to print web pages often, you can adjust your page and printer settings to minimise the number of pages before printing, for example, reducing the margins for your page or printing 2 pages on a piece of paper. You can also explore the use of software such as GreenPrint to reduce the printing of unwanted pages and images.

Have you come across an email signature with a tree logo and the words “Please consider the environment before printing this email”? This is a good way to remind the email recipient to think first before printing. Learn more about this signature and how to add it to your email.

2. Use Email Instead of Fax

Use email instead of fax for sending documents. Just attach the document as a word or pdf file in your email. Or you can scan the document and attach it in your email. If you really need to use the fax, avoid using a cover page. Read more

Learn How to Make Paper Models

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reuse

If you’re wondering about what to do with your used paper and junk mail, why not use them for origami – the traditional Japanese art of paperfolding.

A simple piece of paper can be folded into various models – from insects, animals, birds, flowers to useful objects such as envelopes, CD cases, coasters, chopstick cases and photo frames.

Learn Origami

You can learn origami from the following web resources and turn your paper junk mail into fun and interesting paper models.

Local Origami Enthusiasts

You can also see interesting origami models and learn from local origami enthusiasts:

Paper Craft Models

Besides origami, you can also learn how to make realistic paper craft models of animals, insects and motorcycles. Check out this Yamaha Motor website with more than 50 paper models. Just download the model on used paper, fold and paste the paper parts together and you’ve got a paper model that looks just like the real thing. Enjoy!